Birders challenged to spot 150

Red Deer River Naturalists celebrating Canada’s 150th in unique style

Eyes will turn to Central Alberta skies in a unique salute to Canada’s 150th birthday.

Local bird watchers have set themselves the challenge of identifying 150 different birds in the coming year.

It’s a daunting task but since over the years there have been 264 different birds spotted in Red Deer County alone it’s an attainable target.

“With enough people doing it we should be able to hit 150,” said Red Deer River Naturalist member Judy Boyd, who has personally counted close to 30 so far.

The last bird count, which ran from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 identified 45 birds. Winter tends to be on the lean side for bird spotting, but in April and May many varieties start returning.

Bird watchers are encouraged to head out into the countryside to scout out our feathery friends. It is best if areas are visited more than once to get the best shot at finding some new birds to add to the list.

Hitting the mark will mean identifying all of the LBJs, which stands for little brown jobs, said Boyd with a laugh.

“They’re the sparrows essentially is what they are. They are really hard to differentiate for novice birders.”

The spotting area is defined by the Central Alberta Birding Trails map, which covers an area from Rocky Mountain House to Stettler, Ponoka to Olds and highlights prime birding areas. It can be found on the Red Deer River Naturalists website at

Given the challenge of spotting birds out in rural areas compared with backyard feeders, it is recommended that two observers confirm a sighting in the countryside.

“When you’re out and about and you see something flying by and you go, ‘That’s a Cooper’s hawk’ and there’s nobody else to say that is a Cooper’s hawk, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s something else.

“If there are two people seeing it it just verifies what you are seeing.”

Birds spotted should be emailed to

Boyd said the Red Deer River Naturalists is hoping to set up a page on its website recording the species and numbers found so bird watchers know which have already been spotted.

Just Posted

WATCH: Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off 2018 dancers revealed

In partnership with 2019 Canada Winter Games

Local haunted house offers a chilling Halloween experience

Chad and Jarita Carlson’s annual venture also supports the Lacombe Food Bank

Local church welcomes LGBTQ community

Gaetz Memorial United Church declares itself an Affirming Ministry

At mid-mandate and with extra cash, Liberals to chart fiscal course toward 2019

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government, right at the midpoint of its mandate,… Continue reading

Voter turnout down in this election

The voter turnout was estimated to be about 17 per cent, down from previous election

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

Jason Kenney will be in Red Deer on Monday

The UCP candidate is hosting a series of town hall

Sylvan’s talent on display for fundraising show

Sylvan Lake Refugee Project is hosting Sylvan’s Got Talent Nov. 3

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month